As a religious philosopher, I’m loathe to write another column about Donald Trump and the chaos presidency. But as a religious philosopher, I feel a responsibility to attempt to convey what’s happening at a deeper level than the merely political.
The POTUS whose foreign relations campaign theme was, “Islam hates us,” and who has tried twice by executive order to carry out his promise to ban Muslims from entering the United States, is now “seeking to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity.”
To the everlasting shame of Christian evangelicals that they voted in droves for Donald Trump, the lout who bragged, “I grab women by the pussy…I just can’t help it,” is about to prostrate his prostate by “visiting the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslims faiths all on one trip.”
The demagogue who was elected on division and hate, tweeting anti-Semitic images and trafficking in anti-Jewish tropes, and who actually had the unmitigated gall to project his own filth on Pope Francis, calling him “disgraceful,” will now “broadcast a message of unity to Jews, Christians and Muslims.”
Trump’s speechwriter during the campaign, and author of two court-overturned executive orders banning Muslims from the United States, Stephen Miller, is also writing Trump’s speech to Islamic people, which he will deliver on Sunday.
Trump is almost literally poking a finger in the eyes of Muslims, though the uber-corrupt Saudis are cynically going along with this charade. After all, as has been reported, “Trump and the Saudi leadership have a lot in common, including an affinity for giving top jobs to their relatives, and government decision-making that features only one gender.”
Yet the American media, sounding like Muslims that automatically repeat “praise be his name,” every time Mohammed’s name is used, reflexively utter, “we should all wish the president the best of luck in bringing together the Muslim, Christian and Jewish worlds.” What rot!
If there is any holiness left at these “holy sites,” the birthplaces of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, welcoming the devil’s right hand man, the prime sewer and sower of chaos in the world today, is a sure way of extinguishing it.
The real goals of this trip have nothing to do with religion of course. They are power, money and diversion. First, take the round, puffy, shiny object away from American media for a fortnight, so the Nixon-scale scandals abate.
Second, bring home lots of contracts for weapon manufacturers and environment-destroyers. Third, provide “good optics” by allowing Trump to be feted by like-minded bedfellows, alongside which he doesn’t look so bad.
Here’s a reality check. The day Trump left, it was reported that his inner circle at the White House attempted to do an “intervention,” in order to break him of his addiction to self-and-other-destroying tweets, and “I have the absolute right” mouth offs.
The “intervention” didn’t work because, as one commentator said, “Like many rich people in America, Trump has never faced consequences for his actions, and has been completely insulated and enabled all his life.”
The fitting metaphor of an addict unable and unwilling to quit came the same day it was reported Trump told the Russian spymaster, and highest foreign officer in the Oval Office, “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off. I’m not under investigation.”
What is the president of the United States doing kissing the asses of representatives of America’s enemy, following the dictates of a despot who hates the United States with a burning passion?
An unwitting experiment is being carried out to find out how far the century-old American substructure of lies, money, power and entertainment can extend now that American values and virtues are nearly dead and gone.
In the meantime, it’s reported, “Mr. Xi is aiming to use China’s wealth and industrial know-how to create a new kind of globalization that will dispense with the rules of the aging American-dominated institutions.”
Let’s face it, what this 50-inch conduit of darkness occupying the most powerful office in the world is really about is insulting—no abusing—the intelligence of everyone so much that they give up the hope that humanity will ever awaken intelligence, much less at this crucial crossroads in human history.
Without looking for silver linings, is there any good that can come from all this Trumpian darkness and disorder?
There is if we throw the baby out with the bathwater (our man-baby president, and the primacy of organized religions that is) and ask: What does it actually mean to be religious?
More than our inward lives depends on it; the future of humanity depends on it.